Report Summary

One of the most important social developments of our time is the recent rise in age at first marriage, which now stands at 27 for women and 29 for men--a historic high. Delayed marriage in America has helped to bring the divorce rate down since 1980 and increased the economic fortunes of college-educated women, according to Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, a new report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and the RELATE Institute. But another important consequence of delayed marriage is that most Americans without college degrees now have their first child before they marry. By contrast, the vast majority of college-educated men and women still put childbearing after marriage. Knot Yet explores the causes and consequences of this revolution in family life, especially the ways that delayed marriage is connected to the welfare of twentysomethings, their children, and the nation as a whole.


The Latest



Weighing in on the Debate: Why Do Economists Urge College but Not Marriage?

by Barbara Ray

A debate is bubbling up about why economists focus on college as an earnings boost and not marriage, sparked by Megan McArdle at the Daily Beast, Pascal Emmanuel-Gobry at Fortune, and economist Bryan Caplan . When economist talk about options for… More



Knot Yet What? How to Build Stronger Families

by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn

When we read about what is happening to the twenty-somethings at the heart of Knot Yet our first thoughts are of two couples we know who illustrate the patterns we have found in  our research on contemporary families. The first,… More



Should We Focus Less on Marriage and More on Stable Cohabitation?

by Amber Lapp

  At the recent Brookings Institution event about the findings of the “Knot Yet” report, Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle… More



What Men Talk about When They Talk about Love and Marriage

by Barbara Ray

  I recently reread the short story by Raymond Carver “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” (originally titled “Beginners” which is apt here.) I’d just interviewed two very different young men in their 20s about marriage, relationships,… More



Weekend Recap: All Things Marriage

by Barbara Ray

With gay marriage in the news this last week, marriage is a hot topic. Several smart articles over the weekend offer good food for thought about the institution of marriage. We recap a few here. Tracy Clark-Flory in “Will Gays… More